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American Self-Harm Information Clearinghouse


United States

Approximately 1% of the population has, at one time or another, used self-inflicted physical injury as a means of coping with an overwhelming situation or feeling. ASHIC - the American Self-Harm Information Clearinghouse - strives to increase public awareness of the phenomenon of self-inflicted violence and the unique challenges faced by self-injurers and the people who care about them.

Self-harm scares people. The behavior can be disturbing and difficult to understand, and it is often treated in a simplistic or sensational manner by the press. As a result, friends and loved ones of people who self-injure often feel frightened, isolated, and helpless. Sometimes they resort to demands or ultimatums as a way of trying to regain some control over the situation, only to see things deteriorate further.

The first step toward coping with self-injurious behavior is education: bringing reliable information about who self-injures, why they do it, and how they can learn to stop to people who self-injure and to their friends, loved ones, and medical caregivers. ASHIC was founded to meet this need for honest, accurate information.




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